This is an entirely new edition of the author’s 1984 study (originally published by South End Press) of radical media and movements. The first and second sections are original to this new edition. The first section explores social and cultural theory in order to argue that radical media should be a central part of our understanding of media in history. The second section weaves an historical and international tapestry of radical media to illustrate their centrality and diversity, from dance and graffiti to video and the internet and from satirical prints and street theatre to culture-jamming, subversive song, performance art and underground radio. The section also includes consideration of ultra-rightist media as a key contrast case. The book’s third section provides detailed case studies of the anti-fascist media explosion of 1974-75 in Portugal, Italy’s long-running radical media, radio and access video in the USA, and illegal media in the dissolution of the former Soviet bloc dictatorships.

Public Speech, Dance, Jokes, and Song

Public speech, dance, jokes, and song
  • Moroccan women street traders
  • Bakhtin, Rabelais, and marketplace humor
  • 19th-century African American public festivals
  • The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires
  • Radical pre-Emancipation communication networks among African American mariners
  • Stalin-era Russian poet Anna Akhmatova and Requiem
  • African American dance in the era of chattel slavery and afterward
  • The blues
  • Song in the German labor movement through 1933

The most accessible and most fundamental mode of radical expression is speech for public purposes (i.e., even if clandestine, uttered within one or more publics) and, not least, ironic and satirical speech. Close to it are dance and song. The instances below, including the “highart” poem Requiem, exemplify many of the issues raised in the conceptual discussions in Part I: notably, the rebellious ...

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